Colorado Court of Appeals
Honorable José D. L. Márquez
Retention Year: 2006
The State Commission on Judicial Performance recommends by a vote of 6 to 4 that Judge José D. L. Márquez BE RETAINED.
Background: Judge Márquez was appointed to the Colorado Court of Appeals in 1988. Prior to that he was a District Court Judge in the 21st Judicial District for four years. He graduated from St. John's University, the University of Texas School of Law, and in 2001 he received an LL.M. from the University of Virginia Law School.
He was in private practice in Grand Junction (1978-1984), a Colorado Assistant Attorney General (1975-1977), an attorney for Colorado Rural Legal Services (1972-1975), and an Assistant Staff Judge Advocate, United States Air Force (1971-1972). He has served on the governing boards of the Colorado, Denver, and Hispanic Bar Associations, and is active in the Minoru Yasui Inn of Court. In 2004 the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association honored him with its Lifetime Achievement Award.
Strengths: Attorneys who responded to survey questions rated Judge Márquez as at the survey average for: (1) allowing parties to present their arguments and answer questions, (2) treating parties equally regardless of race, sex, or economic status, and (3) being courteous toward attorneys. Judge Márquez was also rated at the survey average for: (1) making reasoned decisions based upon the law and facts and (2) for refraining from reaching issues that need not be decided. Attorneys commented that the judge displays a respectful judicial demeanor.
Weaknesses: Attorneys rated Judge Márquez slightly below the survey average of other Court of Appeals judges for: (1) writing opinions that are clear, (2) writing opinions that
adequately explain the basis of the Court's decision, and (3) being prepared for oral argument.
Recommendation: 65% of attorneys surveyed and 92% of judges surveyed strongly recommended that Judge Márquez be retained in office. Overall, 95% of attorneys and 99% of judges supported his retention. Although the Commission recommends that Judge Márquez be retained, several commissioners were disappointed with the variable quality of some of his opinions and sporadic departures from controlling law, especially given the length of time he has been on the bench.